Published Date: 2005-08-22 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza - Asia (09): Russia (Siberia), OIE
Archive Number: 20050822.2475
AVIAN INFLUENZA - ASIA (09): RUSSIA (SIBERIA), OIE
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Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: OIE web-site, accessed 22 Aug 2005 [edited]
Update On Avian Influenza In Animals In Asia (Type H5)
Translation of information received on 20 Aug 2005 from Dr Evgueny A.
Nepoklonov, Head of the Main Veterinary Department, Ministry of Agriculture
and Food, Moscow:
Report date: 20 Aug 2005.
On 20 Aug 2005, clinical, virological and serological monitoring
established that domestic birds were infected or suspected of infection in
6 territorial divisions of Russia. However, mortality of birds is not
significant, and as a rule, does not exceed 4-5 percent of the total flock
in the locality. One of the reasons for this is the application of
stringent veterinary measures against suspected cases: homes suspected of
infection in villages are isolated until a general slaughter, and birds
suspected of contact are slaughtered. The main methods used to control the
disease are slaughter of infected birds and suspect cases and sanitary
measures. Vaccination is not being conducted.
Transfer of the virus from one village to another has not been established,
and spread of infection within villages is slow. Infected localities do not
form clusters. There are 2 main reasons for this: 1st, stringent quarantine
measures; and 2nd, long average distances between localities (on average 12
km). Practically all the infected localities are close to reedy lakes or
marshes used by wild ducks. In these villages, the 1st birds to be affected
are those kept in homes close to reservoirs.
Not a single poultry plant (large closed commercial poultry plants with
more than 20 000 birds) has been found to be infected or to contain a
seropositive bird for A influenza of any subtype.
One infected farm has been identified (a free-range goose farm in Altai
Territory with approximately 10 000 birds) and was depopulated the day
after the infection was discovered.
Human infection has not been established, despite careful monitoring of
residents of affected villages, staff of veterinary laboratories and people
engaged in the slaughter and disposal of birds. Infection of pigs in the
affected localities has not been established.
There is still a risk of new outbreaks of the disease appearing in domestic
birds. This is most likely to occur [during the current period] (migration
of birds from northern to southern Siberia) and in mid-September (migration
of wild water fowl to their wintering grounds).
The level of infection of the population of wild ducks and geese is not
known precisely, but is assumed to be extremely widespread. In all the
places listed below, deaths of wild ducks have been reported.
The number of affected areas (i.e. areas where circulation of the virus or
H5 antibodies are present, independently of whether there have been deaths
of birds or clinical signs of influenza) breaks down as follows:
- Altai Territory: 8 (districts: Zavyalovsky, Mamontovsky, Romanovsky,
- Tiumen Region: 13 (districts: Berdiuzhsky, Armizonsky, Kazansky);
- Omsk Region: 9 (districts: Sargatsky, Marianovsky, Okoneshnikovsky);
- Kurgan Region: 6 (districts: Chistoozerny, Petukhovsky, Almenevsky,
Kurtamyshsky, Makushinsky, Lebyazhinsky);
- Chelyabinsk Region: 3 (districts: Oktyabrsky, Uvelsky);
- Novosibirsk Region: 11 (districts: Dovolinsky, Kupinsky, Zdvinsky,
In the affected areas the number of birds destroyed was as follows:
- Altai Territory: 13 667;
- Tiumen Region: 22 921;
- Omsk Region: 5997;
- Kurgan Region: 5090;
- Chelyabinsk Region: 954;
- Novosibirsk Region: 69 658.
Slaughter of birds in the areas at risk and monitoring of the virus are
During the monitoring and diagnosis process, approximately 32 000 tests
have been conducted. The main laboratory screening methods used are the
following: haemagglutination test, haemagglutination inhibition test, ELISA
(revealing antibodies to NP protein) and PCR (revealing the H5 gene in
tissue and excrement).
OIE Animal Health Information Department
[The notification does not provide details on the final identity of the
causal agent, aside from its being an Influenza A, H5 virus. From the
reported clinical observations it might be assumed that this is not a
highly pathogenic strain. However, laboratory confirmation is needed,
particularly the neuraminidase identity and results of the prescribed
A subscriber who preferred to remain unnamed has asked us the following:
"Dead ducks don't migrate. All reports of H5N1 virus in wild birds so far
appear to be from dead ones. Has anyone, anywhere, actually found a healthy
wild bird, capable of migrating, which was carrying and shedding Z-genotype
highly-pathogenic H5N1?" A valid question -- which we willingly include,
inviting responses. - Mod.AS]